Twitter's own official Twitter app and most third party Twitter client apps are built around reading your Twitter stream. That makes a lot of sense. They are not typically very nice environments to write tweets, however – and one of the most common uses of Drafts is as a Twitter posting tool. It's great for that because when you are ready to tweet something, you don't always want to get stuck digging through your tweet stream.
Drafts is great for storing drafts of tweets you might not be ready to send, but with a little customization, Drafts can also be a powerful tool for managing sending to multiple Twitter accounts and using standardized templates for certain types of tweets. Some things you might want to do include:
- Cross-post to multiple Twitter accounts with a single tap (or to Twitter & Facebook).
- Create multiple actions for a single Twitter account with templates to automatically include a hashtag or certain Emoji you use regular.
- Log your tweets as you tweet them to a file in Dropbox or note in Evernote.
- Forward drafts to other Twitter client apps
This post covers a few of the configuration steps you may want to take if you use Drafts with Twitter.
Drafts does not keep it's own set of Twitter accounts. It uses the Twitter accounts configured in the iOS Settings app. To make a Twitter account available in Drafts:
- Open iOS Settings app.
- Tap "Twitter".
- Tap "Add Account" and authenticate.
- Repeat as needed for all your Twitter accounts.
Setup the Editor
Depending on your use, you may wish to tap the appearance settings button ("Aa" in bottom right) and change the syntax highlighting option to "Social". In this mode, common social media conventions like @mentions and #hashtags will be highlighted in the editor as you type.
Drafts ships with a "Twitter" action, but you can setup up additional actions if you have multiple accounts, or want special options.
Drafts actions are built as a set of action steps. Each of these steps performs a certain type of activity. One of these types of steps is the Twitter step. You can read about all the types on this site. If you have not created an action in Drafts before, watch the "Create Your First Action" screencast to get familiar before continuing.
The Twitter step type has two configuration options. The account to use to post and a template for the content of the tweet. You can tap the "(+)" button to select from a list of accounts configured on your device.
The template field can contain any combination of text and Drafts tags. The default template "[[draft]]" includes the full content of the current draft, but many other tags are available to generate dynamic content. Text can also be included, so, for example, if you regularly tweet with a special hash tag or format, you can create extra Twitter actions with templates. As an example, we use a "TIP: [[draft]] #Drafts4" template to occasionally post tips to the @draftsapp Twitter account.
Add Action Steps
A single action in Drafts 4 can contain multiple steps. To setup a single tap action to post to multiple Twitter accounts, just add more than one Twitter step to the same action set to different accounts.
To post to Twitter and Facebook, add a Facebook step to the same action with your Twitter step...or install this example from the directory.
To log tweets, you might also add Dropbox or Evernote steps to append to files/notes whenever you tweet.
These are just a few examples.
Forward Drafts to other Twitter Client Apps
Sometimes you start a tweet in Drafts and realize you would like to access some direct Twitter integration features that are not available directly in the app, like searching for the right twitter handle for a mention, or attaching an image. For those times, it's great to have around actions to send your current draft to your favorite Twitter client app. Here's a few ready to install examples in from the Action Directory:
The most common issues with Twitter posting are 400 and 403 errors. To troubleshoot these errors, check the following:
- Check that the action has a twitter username assigned. If you have more than one Twitter account setup in iOS settings, this will have to be done manually (see above for details).
- Check that you have given Drafts permission to use Twitter accounts in iOS Settings > Privacy > Twitter.
- Delete and recreate the Twitter account in iOS settings and try again. It is likely the Twitter authentication tokens stored by iOS have become invalid. This can happen for a number of reasons (device restore, changing Twitter password, etc.).